Medical Social Worker

Job Name: 
Medical Social Worker
Job Description: 

WVU Medicine’s Ambulatory Nursing Services has an excellent opportunity for a Medical Social Worker. 

Ours is a teaching facility that offers a dynamic and collaborative work environment where you are respected as a team member and your contributions are valued. You are a vital part of our healthcare team and are essential to the success of healthcare today and in the future.  We employ nearly 7,000 people and are recognized both nationally and within the state as a great place to work. We are expanding our facility, services, and staff to better serve our patients and we're looking for more great employees to join our team. We offer a robust benefits package, excellent work/life balance, continuing education, competitive salaries and a collaborative learning environment.

The Medical Social Worker comprehensively plans for care management of targeted patient populations. Performs resource management, facilitation, and referral to other levels of care. Works collaboratively with the multidisciplinary care team to facilitate achievement of desired treatment outcomes. The social worker intervenes with patients who have complex psychosocial needs, require assistance with eligibility determination for social programs and funding sources, and qualify for community assistance from a variety of special funds and agencies. The social workers serve as patient advocates and counselors, perform psychological assessments, refer patients and families to medical resources and provide patient and family assistance in obtaining financial and legal assistance.  In addition, offers crisis intervention to patients and families with psychosocial needs and collaborates with the patient care team in the development of care for all patients including high-risk patient population. Most importantly, a medical social worker works to assure that the best interests of the patient are being met.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Psychosocial Assessment and Interventions:
    • Provide assessment, social service, and crisis intervention to patients and their families in relation to social, psychological, financial, and family situations
    • On the basis of preliminary risk screening, assesses patients and family’s psychosocial risk factors through evaluation of prior functioning levels, appropriateness and adequacy of support systems, reaction to illness, and ability to cope. Medical social workers advise and counsel patients and their families. They explain the nature of an illness and guide the patient and family on how to effectively deal with symptoms and treatment.
    • Documents interventions according to departmental policies and procedure related to the interactions with patients and families emotional, social, and financial consequences of illness and/or disability; access and mobilizes family/community resources to meet identified needs.
    • Serves as a resource person and provides counseling and intervention related to treatment decision and end-of-life issues.
  • Serves as a grief counselor to help patients and families deal with the trauma of experiencing a chronic or acute illness.
    • The medical social worker will have the ability to interchange roles with the other medical social workers in the ambulatory setting as necessary and maintain an appropriate social service coverage schedule as needed.
  • Coordinates/facilitates patient progression throughout the continuum, Transitional Planning, Advocacy and Education:
    • Collaborates with all members of the Multidisciplinary Team in specialty clinics such as Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH), ALS Multidisciplinary clinic, Hepatitis C clinic, diabetes clinic, and Huntington’s disease clinic. Monitors the patient’s progress, intervening as necessary and appropriate to ensure that the plan of care and services provided are patient focused, high quality, efficient, and cost effective
    • Provide education as needed to staff, physicians, and patients for transitional planning needs
    • Meets directly with patient/family to assess needs and develop an individualized care plan in collaboration with physician
    • Communicates with community health, social agencies, and the patient care team regarding patients’ with complex family dynamics that directly impact patient care
    • Provides consultation to inpatient care managers and social workers when coordinating appropriate community resources to meet continuing care needs.
    • Provides consultation with other ambulatory social workers when needed to provide the most appropriate patient care and offer the best resources for.
    • Seeks consultation from appropriate disciplines/departments as required to expedite care
    • Initiates and facilities referrals to transitional services which may include but are not limited to home health care, hospice, medical equipment and supplies
    • Initiates the referral for post-acute service or facility and documents in electronic medical record.
    • Communicates all necessary information regarding arranged services, placement and transportation needed to healthcare team, patients, and families
    • Validates discharge criteria for patient and families and notifies care team of newly identified resources or change in previously identified resources.
    • Working knowledge of the patient’s current medical insurance coverage and the pre-certification requirements for Durable Medical Equipment (DME), placement, infusions, transfers, etc, and negotiate with individual payor, state, local, and federal agencies to optimize the appropriate placement of patients.
    • Communicates, completes, and sends the required forms to the appropriate facility for the potential placement of patients
    • The medical social worker acts as an intermediary between patients and the medical community. They are the voice for people who have communication barriers or cultural differences that make effective communication challenging.
    • Coordinates interpretive services for patients with language needs in the clinical setting. The medical social worker manages the interpretive report in EPIC for hearing impaired patients. The medical social worker will ensure proper interpretive services are scheduled including communicating with live sign language interpreters in the community to schedule sign language services.
    • The medical social worker will serve as liaison for the Video Relay System for outpatient clinics.
    • Educates clinic staff on Video Relay System and troubleshoots the interpretive technology when needed.
    • Documents relevant information in the medical record according to Department standards
  • Legal Issues related to Patient and Family Support:
    • Serves as a consultant for processing medical power of attorney, health care surrogate, and advanced directives.
    • Provides intervention in child abuse/neglect, domestic violence, guardianship (temporary/permanent), foster care, adoption, mental health placement, advance directives, adult/elderly abuse, child protection, and sexual assault.
  • Financial Management and Quality Screening for assigned patients:
    • Communicates with Resource Center and /or third party payors on issues on a case by case basis and with clinical staff (i.e. Peer to Peer) and follows up to resolve problems with payors as needed.
    • Collaborate for appropriate resource and financial management which may include, but is not limited to financial assistance coordination/referrals, entitlement program coordination/referrals, patient benefit coordination, assessment of working DRG and/or collaboration with Clinical Documentation Management Program, assessment for appropriate usage of Health Care Resources/clinical cost efficiency.
    • Educates hospital staff and physicians to the payor regulations to prevent denials.
  • Clinical performance improvement, outcome management and quality activities:
    • Uses data to drive decisions and plan/implement performance improvement strategies related to assigned patients, including fiscal, clinical and patient satisfaction data
    • Collects delay for services and other data for specific performance and/or outcome indicators as determined by department
    • Participates in development, implementation, evaluation and revision of clinical pathways and serves as a member of the clinical resource/team, including participation of staff interviews/screening for hire.
    • Educate the multidisciplinary team and physicians about clinical pathways/protocols and managed care principles
    • Participate in the development of clinical pathways, best practice standard development, competency process, as well as participate in Joint Commission Standard Compliance, Federal/State/Local Regulatory Agency compliance, Core Measure Utilization/compliance, Patient Safety Compliance, Quality improvement initiatives
    • Identifies at-risk populations using approved screening tool and follows established reporting procedures

Minimum Qualifications

  • Masters Social Work required.
  • Must have LGSW or LCSW certification in the State of West Virginia by the end of the first six months of employment.
  • One to three years of experience preferred.

 Knowledge, Skills, Abilities

  • Possesses excellent interpersonal communication and negotiation skills in interactions with patients, families, physicians, and health care team colleagues.
  • Ability to work with people of all social, economic, and cultural backgrounds and be flexible, open minded, and adaptable to change.
  • Capable of independent judgment and action regarding psychosocial needs of patients.

TO APPLY:  To submit your electronic application (to include an opportunity to upload your resume/CV), visit: